Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Sixty-sixth Week - October 26, 2015

Wow!  What a week!  Crazy, but for the most part good with many prayers answered and many miracles.  Let's get right to it.
Monday night we had another Noche de Hogar with a bunch of our investigadores.  We watched "The Restoration."  It was awesome.  I know without a duda that José Esmeeth (That's how they say it here,) was a prophet.  It's so funny how so many people are still arguing about that.  But whatever, just find the chosen.  This world consists of two sorts of people, those who are acted upon and those who act.  Which one are you?
(The Monday night Noche de Hogar.)
 (Elders Copeland and Merrill)
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were just normal days.  Our four possibilities (Perla, Ana, Alfredo and Francis) were looking good, even with all of their problems.  We had done literally everything we could have possibly think of to baptize these people.

Friday.......... everything went insane!  I hit 15 months... Got a call from the APs and said that we were opening up two new areas so we had to go look for some houses (didn't find jack).  Merrill and I also didn't sleep one second on Friday night, because we had a Multi Mission on Saturday morning, so we left the house at 2 am to go and pick up all of the missionaries in the Zone.  Elder Snow of the Seventy and Elder Turley the Church Historian spoke to us.  It was awesome.  I learned about the importance of writing in my journal (just started that again, took like a 4 month break).  And a few other things. 

The baptisms.  We got back to Jinotepe from Managua around 3 p.m.  And the baptisms were scheduled at 5 p.m.  Not good.  We sent Elder De Leon and Velasquez to go see if they were all there while Merrill and I went and set everything up.  And just like always here in Nicaragua, 3 of our 4 possibilities were no where to be found (And, Alfredo, Francis).  I knew how much work and effort that we put in with them.  I would not give up.  So Merrill and I left the church and went a searchin...

Elder Merrill and I were at the church getting everything ready, then we took a taxi out to where they live.  I had a strong impression to tell the taxi to take a different route than we ALWAYS go, so I followed through with that feeling and we went the other way.  Miraculously, we saw Francis walking on the sidewalk with her baby.  We would have NEVER seen her if we didn't take that route.  So grateful for that feeling that came to me!  We got out of the taxi instantly and she seemed super animated about getting baptized, and said that Ana and Alfredo were as well.  Did I tell you that they were trying to do this baptism in secret so that they wouldn't get kicked out of their house?  But she said all was good, just had to drop something off at her aunt's.  We went with her obviously, but waited outside and hid so that her family wouldn't see us.  She didn't come out for about 20 minutes, so we got a little worried.  We finally passed by and saw her inside, and she signaled to us to wait just a little.  We waited and saw some old lady walk in.  About 3 minutes later, she came out, didn't even look at us, and started walking toward her house.  We caught up to her, and she was super sad because her aunt had found out and told her, "If you get baptized, get out of the house."  She did not want to do it.  We tried to animate her, but nothing was really working while we were walking to her house.  Then we got to her house and sat down and talked to her for about 45 minutes about faith and how she had seen miracles and how she could do this and how the promises of God always get done.  I shared a little story that I happened to read that week in Doctrine & Covenants 39:7-10, 12.  

And now, behold, I say unto you, my servant James (Francis), I have looked upon thy works and I know thee.

And verily I say unto thee, thine heart is now right before me at this time; and, behold, I have bestowed great blessings upon thy head; 

Nevertheless, thou hast seen great sorrow...
10 But, behold, the days of thy deliverance are come, if thou wilt hearken to my voice, which saith unto thee:  Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on my name, and you shall receive my Spirit, and a blessing so great as you never have known.
12 And it shall come to pass that power shall rest upon thee; thou shalt have great faith, and I will be with thee and go before thy face. 
She really liked it, and put full trust in the Lord.  No matter the circumstance, no matter the difficulty, if we are obedient, God will bless us.  She wanted to do it, but was scared of getting kicked out of the house.  Somehow, gracias a Dios and the Spirit, she decided to be baptized.  But we had to secretly leave her house and get to the church so that her aunt wouldn't see her!  We went walking down the street and then went down a little alley way about 200 feet long and 3 feet wide--pitch black, to get out to the highway.  As we left the alley way, I walked out first and looked right, and saw her aunt walking right towards us.  I told Francis and she went sprinting back through the alley like she was going to her house.  Merrill and I sat there like nothing was happening haha. We said, "Well, that was fun while it lasted," thinking that she would go back to her house and give up.  After the aunt left the alley way, we walked back through it to see if her aunt had seen her.  When we got to the street, we couldn't see Francis.  My heart just dropped.  Two seconds later, one of our investigators that we are teaching on that street signaled at us... FRANCIS WAS HIDING IN THE HOUSE OF AN INVESTIGATOR FROM HER AUNT. She came out, we went to the church, and she got baptized.  Perla got baptized as well without any problem.  She is so awesome.  That night we never found Ana and Alfredo.  We went in the morning at 5 a.m. to try, but couldn't get them.  So we finished with two last weekend, four in the month, and six in the change.  It is a record in this area.

Francis took an enormous step of faith that day. She has a one-year-old baby and isn't married, doesn't have a job, nothing.  But she decided to put her faith in God.  I will never forget that moment and what she did.  She will be forever blessed for that, I have no doubt.
In the Zone, we finished with 24 baptisms.  Our goal was 25.  I was really disappointed, because our two baptisms that fell were the ones that would have helped the Zone hit their goal.  But I learned a great lesson that day.  It was the will of God.  Although I was really sad, we did break a record, with 24 baptisms.  And although they didn't all get baptized, I can honestly say that I really felt your prayers.  The Spirit was very strong last week, and I am so happy for Francis and Perla.  I am so grateful for that miracle.  It was the biggest miracle I have seen on my mission.  The whole thing was like an action movie; it was much better in person obviously.  Francis is a chosen daughter of God, just like all of them.  It was a humbling experience, and I learned that night many things.
Today, Merrill and I kept looking for a house in Nandaime!   We left the house at 8 a.m. and we were looking all over the place.  We got to play with some monkeys!!!  Legit monkeys!  That was super Salvaje.  They are incredible. Can basically do anything they want and are really smart!  (One even stole my pen!)

However, today was tough.  We were looking for a house last night for four hours (didn't find anything), and today from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.  We were really frustrated because nobody wants to lose their P-Day looking for a house!  We felt hopeless, we had looked literally everywhere!  At 4, we decided to humble ourselves and say a little prayer.  We sat down on the sidewalk, Merrill said a prayer, we started laughing our heads off mid-prayer, who knows why, so we had to control ourselves and restart.  After the prayer, we walked 1/2 a block and asked some dude if he knew anyone.  He pointed to where we sat down on the sidewalk to say the prayer.  We walked to the lady at that house.  Little did we know that she was renting a house and it was the perfect house. Haha... 
I feel like this last week the Lord was just telling us, "Son, just put a little trust in me,"  because we had got so stressed out.  I love the Lord, and I am grateful for His many miracles. And I am grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow every day.
The Lord answers prayers.
Love you all, have a great week.

Elder Copeland

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